For the love of South Indian food ♡

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A delicate chutney that I just put together by whizzing it up in the blender at the very last minute. I had made onion and tomato uttapa on the request of my husband but he always likes sambhar with it.

I had forgot to put the lentils on for the sambhar and already started making the fluffy soft uttapas..so ummm a chutney? Yes that would do perfectly.

I had to use coconut as it is a staple in South Indian food and I love it so! And yoghurt to give the dish a little sharpness. It went down really well and I couldn’t resist just eating the chutney by itself! What?! At least it’s healthy this time lol x

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INGREDIENTS

40g fresh coriander with stalks
35g desiccated coconut
2 cloves of garlic crushed
1 green chilli
5 tbsp natural yoghurt
½ tsp salt or to taste

METHOD

• Whizz the coriander, garlic and chilli in a grinder/blender

• Once you get a coarse paste, pour in the yoghurt, throw in the salt and coconut and blend until just combined

• Whizz….blend…chutney done!

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Serve with your uttapas on the side or directly onto it and then fold the uttapa over so that the chutney does its thing and oozes out…
Enjoy x

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Comforting Cocoa For One…

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I do love chocolate milk and when Shanna @ Curls and Carrots posted her cocoa recipe I started craving it more than ever!

This evening was the best time to sit down with Shanna’s gorgeous mug of cocoa. We had enjoyed a wonderful day at my cousin’s engagement ceremony. Had a very rich and filling lunch which was amazing! But has left me nearly full. So…I decided it was cocoa time! Just to end the day on a sweet cozy note…zzzzz

And yes I made it just for myself! 🙂

INGREDIENTS

1 mug milk
1 tbsp heaped cocoa
1 tbsp caster sugar
Pinch of cinnamon
Tiny drizzle of almond extract

METHOD

• Heat the milk and whisk in the sugar and cocoa

• As the milk begins to warm add the cinnamon and almond extract

• Keep whisking for a few minutes and then pour into your mug. Don’t share you’ve made it only for yourself!

Recipe by Shanna! It is absolutely divine x

Potato & Spinach Theplas & A Chilli Tomato Chutney

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I woke up this morning and I asked my 2 year old what he wanted for breakfast?
I got an instant answer that just rolled off of his tongue…”Thepla please Mummy!”

I couldn’t resist the sweetness in the reply and I did ask what he had wanted to eat. So I’ve just finished making them and thought I would share my spinach theplas again but with a variation…

I grated a red potato with peel and combined it into the flour as I do with the spinach in my spinach theplas

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Please note that you may have to use a little less water to bind the dough as the potato releases its own moisture. Otherwise follow my thepla recipe and add a little more seasoning according to taste

This way my little one will be full up for longer and the potato does add to the softness of the thepla

Carrying on the theme of tomatoes from the last post I felt an impullse to make a hot fresh tomato chutney to accompany the theplas. Within fifteen minutes I had a chutney good to go!

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INGREDIENTS

For the chilli tomato chutney
1 tbsp sunflower oil
½ tsp red chilli flakes
2 tomatoes chopped
2-3 long green chillies
⅓ tsp salt
1 tsp cumin and coriander powder
pinch of turmeric
½ tsp red chilli powder

METHOD

• Heat up the oil in a small saucepan with the chilli flakes, on a low heat let the flakes infuse into the oil for 5 minutes

• Add the rest of the ingredients to the oil, mix well and let the tomatoes and chilli cook in the oil on a low heat for 10 minutes. Stirring occasionally and squashing the tomatoes a little with a fork to tenderise them

• Once the chutney is mushy and the the chilli soft serve it with the potato spinach theplas

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Even he couldn’t resist pretending to make some thepla! 🙂

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Tomatoes for me!

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Tomatoes are now very popular in our house as I know they were when my Mum was pregnant with me. At work all she craved was slices of fresh acidic tomato seasoned with lots of salt and pepper. This kept her going through her pregnancy and then I came along.

Also known to love tomatoes I think this love of tomato inheritance as moved onto another generation! My son adores them and my Mum always treats him to some sweet mini plum tomatoes that he devours and will choose over chocolate or sweets anyday!

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This recipe I have made throughout my teenage years when I wanted something a little refreshing for breakfast in the mornings. A poached egg accompanies it when I wish to have a richer meal!

If you like tomatoes you will love this! Also extremely healthy compared to fried tomatoes…do let me know what you think! Enjoy…

INGREDIENTS

1 juicy red tomato
1 slice of whole grain bread
Butter
Sprinkling of dried coriander
Salt to taste

METHOD

• Boil the tomato for 7-10 minutes until the skin starts to peel off and tomato is tender

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• Meanwhile lightly butter a slice of bread and pan fry it on both sides so it is nice and toasty

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• De-skin the tomato carefully and paste the tomato flesh onto the toast. Season with salt and the dried coriander

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Hasselback potatoes to die for!

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I’ve been seeing these potatoes on pinterest for quite a while now and have been meaning to get round to making them. Finally the opportunity arose when my husband bought a whole big bag of baking potatoes. I thought it would be a lengthy process, especially in the roasting but found that these Hasselback potatoes are even quicker to make than the jacket potato.

I know that you can also melt cheese into the potatoes but I tried to keep them healthy. However if you want to go super healthy then use olive oil instead of melted butter in the recipe!

Such a wonderful crispy sensation when you eat it and sooo very delicious! I even managed to convert my younger brother who doesn’t like baked potatoes into loving these. He ended up having 2! lol. A proper comforting meal!

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INGREDIENTS

4 large baking potatoes
2 tbsp melted butter
Salt to sprinkle

METHOD

• Preheat oven to 210°c

• To prepare the potatoes ~ wash and scrub them, place a potato on a large metal spoon and slice from the edge, making cuts along the whole potato but at the same time making sure that you don’t slice the whole way through. The metal spoon will help avoid this problem

• Repeat above process for the rest of the baking potatoes

• Then place on an oven tray, paint the melted butter on the surface of the potato and a little into the cracks. Season with salt after buttering

• Put the potatoes into the oven and bake for 45 minutes, then remove and re apply some more melted butter

• Bake for a further 15-20 minutes until potatoes are really crispy and tender inside

•Serve with a juicy ratatouille and mature cheddar cheese. My ratatouille recipe will be up very soon!

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Spicy Broccoli & Tomato Soup

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I wandered my way down a narrow staircase into our small basement staff room, quite a few years ago…To find one of my colleagues who is also a wonderful friend sipping on some delicious broccoli soup she had made and was having for her lunch.

Always the healthy one..apart from the sneaky Egg Mcmuffins we occasionally treated each other to!!! JK as we fondly called her used to bring her lunch from home whilst I would be the unhealthy one and buy from outside! But the aroma of this broccoli soup prompted me to ask her for the recipe and I’m so glad I did. Such a healthy, filling and vitamin packed soup! Thank you soo much for sharing this soup with me and allowing me to share it now with everyone x

I’ve added a little vegetable stock cube to intensify the taste of the broccoli. Also the paprika adds a little heat. Really gorgeous on its own or with some bread

I was also inspired by Sophie @ foodie files who made a gluten free broccoli and cheddar soup and posted it recently. It reminded me of my broccoli soup memory with JK. Thanks Sophie, please check out her lovely blog and recipes!

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INGREDIENTS

1 large broccoli separated into florets
2 small tomatoes
2 garlic cloves peeled
½ vegetable stock cube
boiling water
Salt to taste
⅓ tsp paprika

METHOD

• Boil the broccoli, tomatoes and garlic cloves together in a large saucepan for approximately 10 minutes until everything is soft and tender

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• Take half the water out after the veg has been boiled. Stir in the stock cube, salt and paprika

• Using a handheld blender very carefully blitz the veg into a soup. If the consistency is too thick then add some water

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• Serve in a shallow soup bowl with a little grated mature cheese on top!

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and if your anything like me I sprinkled some chilli flakes onto the soup also!

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Buffalo Mozzarella & Cherry Tomato Bread

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I’m now going to be experimenting with lots of different types of bread! And this one was definitely a winner with my parents who managed to sample some. My Dad has already ordered this crispy flat loaf for me to make for him!

A bread recipe by the Silver Fox himself ~ Paul Hollywood. I adapted it to make a little less only because the way I bake, I have to have some control lol! I think I am slowly becoming a very keen baker and if I don’t bake within a few days, I have withdrawal symptoms! So no need to worry! more recipes are following soon!

The bread turned out really well with a golden bake and once again the Italian flavours mingle together oh so well. My husband and I shared it this afternoon, it was lovely and filling that we have skipped dinner as we are still very satisfied from the goodness that this bread has to offer!

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INGREDIENTS

250g strong white bread flour
4g salt
5g instant action yeast
200ml tepid water
1tbsp olive oil plus extra for oiling & drizzling
10 cherry tomatoes in halves
125-130g/1 ball of buffalo Mozzarella
Pinch of dried oregano

METHOD

• In a mixer with a dough hook or bread hook mix the flour, salt and yeast together, slowly add a little water at a time, mix on a slow speed. As the dough comes together pour in the rest of the water

• Mix for a further 5-7 minutes on a medium speed. The dough will be very wet. Add the olive oil and mix for a further 2 minutes

• Place the dough in a large oiled bowl to prove for one hour. Seal the bowl with some cling film and the dough should double in size at this stage

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• Line a baking tray with some parchment or silicon paper, tip the dough out onto the tray and stretch out using a spatula. Thickness to be about 2cm

• Preheat the oven to 210°c. Push the cherry tomato halves into the dough plus tear the mozzarella and push in between the tomatoes. Sprinkle with the oregano and drizzle a little olive oil

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• Leave to rest for a further 15 minutes and then bake in the oven for 15-25 minutes, until crust is nice and golden

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• Delicious on its own especially when warm or with some soup! Enjoy x

Baked Half & Half Spinach Macaroni

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In our household we do love pasta! We also have a situation where I really like white sauce pasta and my husband very much likes tomato based pasta.

So I decided to come up with the perfect pasta dish to please us both and the children! Macaroni half and half one side red and one side white but spinach in both.

I was naughty, as I had a bit of both! actually quite alot…lol.
It really was a very comforting meal but macaroni cheese always has that effect.
Hope you enjoy D x

INGREDIENTS

For the tomato spinach sauce ~
250g crushed tomato passata
5 cubes frozen spinach (ice cube size)
3 cloves garlic crushed
½ tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste
Pinch of sugar

For the white spinach sauce
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp butter
½ tbsp mild olive oil
Milk
4 cubes frozen spinach
Salt to taste
Pinch of black pepper
sprinkling of garlic granules (optional)
Handful of grated mature cheddar cheese

300-350g macaroni precooked
Cheddar cheese for topping

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METHOD

• In a medium saucepan, heat the oil and add the garlic and passata together. Put in all the seasoning apart from the spinach

• Simmer on a low heat for 5 minutes. Gently add the spinach cubes and cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally

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• In a separate medium saucepan, heat up the oil and butter for the white sauce

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• Throw in the flour and form into a roux. Cook on a low heat, stirring throughout for 2 minutes

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• Pour in some milk approx 180ml-200ml , add the seasoning and continuously stir slowly. As the sauce starts to thicken add the cheese and frozen spinach, simmer for a further 10 minutes. If the sauce is too thick after this pour a little more milk and stir

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• Now that both sauces are ready. Divide the macaroni amount into two. Put half into the tomato sauce and half into the white sauce. Combine well individually

• Use a deep small baking dish and place the tomato macaroni on one side and the white macaroni on the other

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Sprinkle generously with cheese, bake in oven at 180°c/gas mark 4 for 10 minutes

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• Then put under the grill to brown the cheese. Serve with a crisp fresh salad and some dressing

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